Sunday, January 09, 2011

Drive-By Organization

I realized tonight that somewhere in the course of the day, I organized the house.  I don't remember organizing the house.  I had to do the usual weekend stuff:  laundry and sheets and tidied the kitchen a few times...nothing terribly out of the ordinary.  But now it's 9 p.m. and my bedroom is a far sight cleaner than it was this morning and the Monkey's room is completely tidied and a few areas that had been bugging me previously look clear and spacious.

As I look back over the day, I recall feeling like I was hopelessly scattered.  I couldn't keep my focus on any one thing...and I remember thinking I was making a LOT of unnecessary trips to places   To anyone watching, I probably just looked like I was trying to walk 10 miles without ever leaving the house.  In reality, all that motion wound up being a series of drive-by organizing efforts that happened so erratically I barely noticed.  I recall the thought process going something like this:

Ugh.  I hate that pile of books and magazines on top of the pie safe...I should move the books so it stacks better. space for the books in the pie safe.  But I've already read a bunch of the books that are in the pie safe.  I'm heading downstairs in a bit to take the laundry basket down and there's space on the shelf down there.  I bet I can fit some of the books down there.  I'll dump them in the laundry basket before I go.  There.  Oh, I'd like to display these books, but they're the wrong size.  I'll put them up here, and that just leaves a pile of magazines.  They line up.  Yay!  Now that I think about it, there are two Netflix and some CDs in the kitchen that need to go downstairs too...I can throw those in as well and save a trip.  Hmm, I should also check my room once more to make sure there's no more laundry that needs to go.  Oh! THAT's where those pants have been...I should put them in the drawer so I can find them later...  Eep!  Gotta pee.  You know, these buttons have been sitting here by the sink for weeks now...I should put them in the button bin in my armoire.  Ohh...that fleece is kind of too big...I'll put it in the hall closet to wear for a layering piece outside.  You know what?  Those skeins of twine on top of the refrigerator would fit really well here in the closet on this shelf...I'll go grab those since I'm out here.  Crap.  I shouldn't have bought this Christmas plate...I totally didn't need it.  I bet it will fit above the cabinets up here til next Christmas.  Wait...what was I doing?  Oh right...the laundry....

And that's how it goes.  I think I spent all day doing that in one form or another and, like magic, all kinds of little stuff that wasn't organized before, suddenly is!  The really cool part is that, because I did it in a totally organic (ok...fine...erratic!) manner, I don't even feel like I did that much out of the ordinary except to walk around the house a lot more than was, strictly speaking, necessary.  I'd call it exercise if it got my heart rate up at all.  In fact, it kind of had the opposite effect.

There are a lot of organizing theories that say short bursts of focused effort will get you to the point of having organized spaces...but my house is currently proof that there's something to be said for the drive-by, ADD method.

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